Whether it's on the Nighthawk or Bronco field, one tradition always remains the same when the two teams meet for their annual Southwestern League football contest: they dedicate it to the memory of Nighthawk alumnus, Eric McMillan.
In 2004, McMillan, who went on to play at the University of Idaho after graduating from Murrieta Valley, was shot and killed in his Idaho apartment.
The event is one way to
keep his wonderful spirit alive, according to athletic directors from both schools.
"Eric was an outstanding representative of the Murrieta family in athletics, academics and in the community."
Each year, the Eric McMillan Legacy Award is presented to a Nighthawk player and a Bronco player who best exemplify those special qualities that Eric possessed.
This year’s award recipients and their parents were Murrieta Valley senior Michael Robles, mother Rebecca and father, Julio; and Vista Murrieta senior Mason Evans, mother Andrea and father, Dale.
Robles and Evans were presented plaques by MVHS Athletic Director, Darin Mott and VMHS Athletic Director, Ray Moore.
The inscription reads: “The Eric McMillan Legacy Award – presented as a positive example of team leadership, scholarship, and community spirit – in memory of Eric McMillan (1985-2004) – a true friend, student-athlete, and teammate.”
Both young men were congratulated for their positive contributions to
their team, their schools and community.
Here is a list of the players who have received the award to date:
2005: Chad Hansen (MVHS); Terry Washington (VMHS)
2006: Ethan Schillinger (MVHS); Preston Ayer (VMHS
2007: J.R. Gray (MVHS); Kavon Seaton (VMHS)
2008: Dennis Johnson (MVHS); Owen Weissberg (VMHS)
2009: Andrew Fuerst (MVHS); Emil Mejares (VMHS)
2010: Garret Stratfrod (MVHS); Shane Paulson (VMHS)
2011: Brandon Finnie (MVHS); Randy Perez (VMHS)
2012: Kody Thornburg (MVHS); Bryce Smith (VMHS)
2013: Michael Robles (MVHS); Mason Evans (VMHS)